LB Advent Calendar 2019: ECHOES OF THE PAST


Level by Talos


Written and video walkthroughs by Treeble



We begin with a prologue at Croft Manor, with a voice-over from Lara detailing what's happened since her return from Kitezh (Rise of the Tomb Raider), as transcribed below:


After some research, I learned of the existence of another mystical artifact linked to the Divine Source, called the "Prophet's Cross", and it seems to enclose some fragments of the power of the Source. Jonah has found a very peculiar letter, perhaps written by Sofia or another Remnant: it speaks of this strange artifact and the awakening of some Deathless Ones. It's time to go back to Kitezh, in Jacob's footsteps...


The next scene sees Lara sitting in front of a campfire.


Reading these documents, the Prophet's Cross is found in these ruins. Trinity ignores its existence, fortunately.


[ * * * ]


When you finally assume control of Lara, retrieve the explosive arrows near the angel statue in front of the fresco. You will need several explosive arrows later, so don't waste them. Move the snow covered cross to the same tile as the aforementioned angel statue to open the door.


Before heading inside, take notice of a symbol on the block: it looks like a T with a sideways S crossed through it. This is a clue for a puzzle later on.


Inside, retrieve the medipack and the explosive arrows, and then climb the wall covered by small icicles to backflip on top of the chandelier, where you'll find the IRON KEY. Drop back to the ground and run through the curtain on the right side. Locate and activate the jumpswitch behind the column, and also make a mental note of the hanging rope: we'll return with a burning torch in a few moments.


Through the new opened doors, use your climbing axe (a reskinned crowbar) on the broken brick wall on the opposite side. Head to the small courtyard, retrieve more explosive arrows and then use the jade blocks on the right side to reach a monkey swing that leads to another jumpswitch. This one opens the double doors in the previous room.


In the next area, notice the still kittens on the floor and an unlit fireplace, but for now just cross the curtains on the opposite end to reach a hallway. You'll no doubt spot a blue keyhole along the way, but, for now, simply go through the double curtains. You'll stumble upon another unlit fireplace, and right on its side, near a bookshelf, the keyhole for the Iron Key in your possession.


Inside, approach the Remnant Woman and she'll give you a PIECE OF AXE (the handle).


Lara! I'm glad to see you. Sofia told me that you can help us fight the Deathless Ones in the Archives. But to enter, you need a particular key. A blow of the axe and you will open the door.


Now return to the blue keyhole in the hallway and go through the single curtain on the opposite side. Open the trapdoor and drop to the water pit below. As you climb out of the water, look towards the banners hanging from the East wall and you'll notice there's a different sigil in one of them. Not by coincidence, it's just behind a small table, so you need to push the harp all the way around the water pit and position it right beneath this different banner to release a hanging rope above.


Climb the bricks jutting out of the wall until the top of the fresco, then backflip to land on the chandelier. Rope swing across to reach another jumpswitch and you'll land right in front of the open door. Walk in and equip yourself with the ANCIENT HORN BOW. As you do, a trapdoor immediately above you opens, use the brick wall to return to the room with the still kittens.


Now that you have a weapon, head Southwards, to the room with the double doors, and shoot the metal barrier twice to break both of its halves. Inside the little chamber, retrieve a pouch of GOLD. Then, head to the opposite end of the temple, where you used the Iron Key, and climb the bricks on the right side. Again, use your bow to destroy the metal barriers and reach another courtyard.


Take notice of the golden tiles on the floor: you must step on all five symbols which combine the letters T and the sideway S (the same symbol we saw near the campfire) to open the door. If you step on a different tile, the door will instantly shut and you'll need to step on the five tiles again. Inside, pick up the FROZEN KEY from the table near the anvil and return.


The Frozen Key fits the blue keyhole we've seen in the hallway. In the next area, run past the curtains on the West side to find a Hooded Merchant. 


Foreigner... To reach the Archives you'll need the fire. In exchange for old coins, I can help you.


Offer him your Gold (stand closely in front of the NPC and press the Action key) and two torches will appear on the floor. Take one and return to the beginning of the level to light the torch on the campfire.


With a lit torch, head back into the temple but make a stop on the first side room, through the curtain, where we saw the hanging rope. Jump upwards, near the wall, to burn the rope and the BYZANTINE DAGGER will land right behind you.


Now, light up the two fireplaces (the first one is in the room with the kittens; then cross the hallway with the blue keyhole to reach the room with the other one). This opens a door to a small closet in the room with the kittens, get in there and collect another PIECE OF AXE (the head). Combine both pieces to assemble the OLD AXE, then go through the door opened by the blue keyhole. (You no longer need the torch.)


This time, head to the passage in the right corner, but don't be hasty. There's a double trap here: hop back twice and make a running jump to barely avoid the falling boulder while also landing just before the spike trap. The axe receptacle is just beyond the trap.


Drop into the water to reach a two-story sunken library. On the far East side (to the right), on the upper floor, there's an underwater lever, and there's a second one on the lower floor on the opposite corner, near some purple flowers. Go back for air and then swim to the lower floor again, this time follow through the curtains on the East side. Grab the medipack and another batch of explosive arrows on the floor, then swim upwards to break the surface and save your game.


As you climb out, your way back will be closed and you will be ambushed by three Deathless Ones. Despite their names, they can (and must) be killed. Equip the explosive arrows and do your best to manage them while trying to remain out of their range. They're reskinned tin men, so try to hop backwards to shoot them on their chest.


About 60 or so explosions later, you can retrieve the DEATHLESS ONE'S HEART from one of the dead bodies. Combine it with your Byzantine Dagger to create the SACRIFICED HEART. We need to return to the Remnant Woman now. Collect the medipack and explosive arrows near the burning bookshelf fallen on the floor, then drag the nearby statue to the decorated tile near the trapdoor through which you entered this room. In this same room there's another blue keyhole we'll be back here before you know it.


Swim back to the area with the double trap, then take two lefts, heading North, to locate the Remnant Woman. Place the Sacrificed Heart on the bowl right next to her, and, as you walk out, the Warrior will stop you in your tracks. He'll fill you further on the local lore and also hand you the FLOODED ARCHIVE KEY.


These ruins have resisted Mongol and Soviet devastation, but not at the time. We've lost some of our past, Lara. We see frescoes of forgotten emperors and warriors, perhaps Deathless Ones. Some of them carry out an ancient command of Jacob, preserving the Source and all that surrounds it. I found the key to the Archives, keep it! Bring me the Cross.


Despite the way it looks, the key you were just given fits that blue lock we saw earlier, in the sunken library. Make your way back there and open the final door to retrieve the PROPHET'S CROSS, to Lara's wonderment.


The Cross... Created by a craftsman from Kitezh and blessed by Jacob. Could it have all this power?


As you make you leave, a fourth Deathless One will appear. You can either tangle up with him or simply ignore him and dive into the water and get away from him. Either way, retrace your steps back to the Warrior and offer him the Cross (same way you did with the Gold before) and our adventure comes to an end...


[ * * * ]


Thank you, Talos, and Happy Holidays to all of us.

December 8, 2019